AN ARCHITECT CHASING THE TREE: RENZO PIANO16 October 2020
An Urban Machine: Centre Pompidou
Among the most iconic structures in Paris, Centre Pompidou was based on flexibility and transparency. With a public square right in front, the monumental 10-storey building includes an infrastructure system that is highlighted with color codes on its facade: Blue for air-conditioner pipes, red for stairwells and elevators, yellow for electric and green for water. This solution helped make room for spacious exhibition areas in the building. After this huge project that helped both architects earn a significant reputation at a young age, Rogers and Piano worked together on the headquarters of B&B Italia in Como, Italy in 1973 and UOP Fragrance Factory in Tadworth, England in 1974.
Although his works never look similar, Renzo Piano’s signature is prominent. The Parliament House in Valletta, Malta (2015), Central St. Giles Court in London (2010) or the Shard (2012) are all very different projects. However, Renzo Piano speaks of a theme that unifies his projects: “There is an important theme for me: Lightness… In the projects, I try to make use of intangible factors such as transparency and lightness. I believe they are all part of shape, volume and composition.”